Virgin Voyages, a cruise line company based in Florida, has cancelled some of its cruise trips to Dubai and changed the route of one of its cruise ships. This is because of safety concerns in the Red Sea region. 

The company operates a cruise ship called ‘Resilient Lady’. It had planned for this ship to travel between Singapore, Dubai and Greece between April to May 2022 as part of its repositioning voyage. However, it has now cancelled two of these trips – from Singapore to Dubai in April and from Dubai to Athens in April. 

Reason for Cancelling Dubai Trips

Virgin Voyages said it took this decision after consulting global security experts. There are concerns about possible escalation of tensions and risks to safe passage through the Red Sea region over the next year. 

The Red Sea region has seen increased attacks on commercial ships by Houthi rebels in Yemen in response to Israel’s conflict with Gaza. This has made shipping through the area unsafe. Many cargo ships have been rerouted around Africa to avoid the Red Sea. 

New Route for the Cruise Ship

Instead of going through the Red Sea, Virgin Voyages has changed the route of its cruise ship ‘Resilient Lady’. It will now depart from Sydney, Australia on March 27 and travel to ports in Australia like Eden and Fremantle before directly sailing to Africa. 

The revised itinerary includes stops in Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia, Morocco, Malta and Greece. By avoiding the Red Sea, the company aims to ensure safety of passengers and crew.

Impact on Dubai’s Tourism Industry

The cancellation of Dubai trips on this cruise ship affects Dubai’s tourism industry. Cruise trips contribute to visitor arrivals and spending in Dubai. 

Other cruise lines have also cancelled or rerouted their Middle East itineraries recently due to the volatile situation. This has reduced the number of cruise passengers coming to Dubai and the wider region.

Authorities and businesses in Dubai will need to monitor developments closely and plan alternative attractions to offset any decline in cruise tourism. Safety of travellers will remain the top priority given the security issues surrounding the Red Sea.

In summary, Virgin Voyages took the decision to change the route of its cruise ship and cancel Dubai visits this season. This was done to avoid potential dangers from tensions in the Red Sea. Dubai’s tourism could be impacted due to fewer cruise arrivals during this time. All parties are keeping a close watch on the situation.